by Daniel Freeman
After losing a close family friend to cancer, Sadie Leonard knew she wanted to help cancer patients in some way.
So she decided to cut her hair and donate it to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign. Leonard, a sophomore and Fellowship of Christian Athletes club leader at The Tome School wanted to bring her idea to her fellow students and turn it into a community event.
"I didn't want to at first, but eventually (after) doing research (I) decided to do the event either at school or on my own," said Leonard.
She proposed the idea in the fall at the start of the school year and after a few months of waiting, she received approval. It took a month to make preparations.
"If I can donate my hair to make somebody else happy (it's) worth it," said Leonard.
"You're still yourself even after your hair gets cut," said co-FCA club leader and student, Lindsey Darling.
In all, 15 girls participated in donating their hair. That included elementary, middle and high school students.
Katherine Messikomer, a sophomore, said she was nervous to have her hair cut in front of the whole school but wanted to donate her hair because it's (for) a great cause.
Leonard donated in honor of three family friends, Marybeth Hewy who lost her battle to cancer.
As well as, Debbie Kahler and Jill Bramble both of whom are still battling cancer.
"(I'm) proud of the 15 (students) who donated. It warms my heart that they would do such a selfless act," said teacher Lori Griffitts. "I think it (the event) will stimulate conversations of cancer awareness but also doing a selfless act."
"It was nice to see the students give up something of themselves that is important to them," said head of school, Christine Szymanski.
Pantene Beautiful Lengths is a "national movement and first campaign to create free, real-hair wigs for woman with cancer." For the hair to be used it must be a minimum of eight inches long, no dyes, bleaches, or chemicals and no more than five percent is gray.
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